Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Weird Renaissance Faire!

Warning nice people who read my blog- this post contains lots of Jersey sarcasm, and unfortunately little knitting content. If things get too snarky I completely understand and agree that you are totally entitled to think I am both snobby and paranoid. Feel free to hang in for a few days and I promise there will be nice knitting posted again shortly. However, if this Jersey sarcasm rings familiar with you and you have often wondered about some of the similar issues raised here, then by all means read on. I just didn't want to bring it up without warning you:)

This past weekend I went with the lovely Tracy of Lefties K2 and her friend and sometimes knitting group guest Natalie to a local Renaissance Faire, pretty much out of curiosity. I had always wondered what they were all about, and it was a beautiful almost fall day so we figured, why not? Well, we had a really fun time even though I think we were a little surprised that this faire was not as, shall we say authentic as I think we had originally thought. I'm sure there are bigger and better faires all over, but you'll now find out what made this faire just completely appropriate for where we live here in sometimes tacky, sometimes interesting, always endearing, lovely central Joisey.

First of all, there were bellydancers. Which kind of surprised me. I don't normally think "Oh yeah, kings and queens, knights and ladies... and bellydancers..."

But that's ok, the dancers seemed to really enjoy themselves so that's cool. Live and let live I suppose. I'm just not so sure these were so much professional bellydancers as maybe they are just 'people who bellydance.'

And then... there were the gladiators. Again, I don't normally think, "Oh yeah, kings and queens, knights and ladies... and gladiators." And yes, I am fully aware that I am probably the furthest thing to a proper scholar on these subjects, but still, even if gladiators do fit into this whole theme-the ones we saw weren't so much "gladiators" as they were just a bunch of teenagers beating each other while wearing football helmets and shoulder pads.

Yeah, it was kinda dumb.

And then, then there was this guy...

Tracy made me have my picture taken with him. Thanks... See that look on my face? Can you see it? Look close. Yeah, at first it appears to be laughter but I promise you it's completely inspired by something coming close to sheer terror. I know I'm a scaredy cat, my husband always teases me that I'm scared of pretty much everything at times. But is it me? Isn't that just a little weird? The entire time we posed for the picture he didn't make a single sound. And it was just kind of ... eerie. I feel bad, he's probably one of the few authentic looking knights we saw that day, but still it just scared me. The way clowns scare a lot of people you know?

One neat thing we did find was "Ye Olde Knitting Tent." Ok, they didn't call it that but a big chunk of our fun that day derived from walking around calling everything "Ye Olde whatever." And it was there at "Ye Olde Knitting Tent" that someone dressed as Maid Marion showed Tracy how to spin.

And now she will be hooked on spinning and will spin and spin and spin lots of yarn for all of us in the knitting group to knit with all the time right? So we hope.

Oh, and were you wondering about the food? Well, yes we feasted, but again, I just wouldn't call it an authentic medieval feast. Not when it consists of "Ye Olde Jalapeno Poppers" and "Ye Olde Butterfly Fries." Do they have Butterfly Fries where you're from? Just in case they don't it's basically a potato sliced into a curly ribbon (it sounds weird but that's really what it is) and deep fried so it looks like this. You can either put your own ketchup on it, or if you like the vendor will coat it in cheese from a can! Now that is classy!

I know, I know, I'll probably have a coronary in a few days, but it was delicious. Even though some guy completely interrupted our conversation during our feast:

Natalie: Jana, you're dropping butterfly fries all over Ye Olde Ground.

Me: I know, I know, they're messy. Hey, give me a break, in medieval times they didn't have plates. I'd probably be eating these from a leather satchel or something.

Obnoxious guy: They had plates back then! They were made of clay... or maybe ceramic. But they had them. And they ate off of them! What do you think they ate their food off of?

By this point we had kind of stopped listening and backed away a little. Just so you don't think I'm a dope or something, of course I know they had plates back then, it was just a dumb joke. And just for the record, this person was not in medieval dress, he was in jeans and a t-shirt and "Ye Olde Rayban sunglasses." And don't you think it's ironic that he was offended by my ignorance towards the existence of plates yet says nothing of the Butterfly Fries! Which I'm sure they didn't have either!

Huh... (pouting)... Whatever. It's a tiny, little Renaissance Faire in tiny olde Lakewood, New Jersey. Next time we're going to go bigger, to the real Renaissance Faire. Where they'll serve me the real Butterfly Fries on authentic clay plates.....


Karin said...

That was a funny post! I love how you're gripping your bag in fear next to that knight guy!

Rachel said...

I havent gone to one of those things either. Im too scared. Im sure the food in the south at a R. Fair would be funnel cakes and turkey legs.

My old secret pal from #7 was a TRUE reinactor who lived in England. Now thats authentic! Her father would make the spindles BY HAND and they would spin. (She actually had her dad make me one!)

BlackCrow said...

oh I really like your blog!
I just downloaded the pattern for multi directional scarf...it was just perfect for some wool I've had stashed for ages....thanx

Anonymous said...

This is your tea secret swap pal surfing in to check you out.

Your blog was terrific. I am going to enjoy torturing you. :o)

Kari said...


Tracy said...

I have a confession. I ordered some more roving off of ebay - I haven't even finished playing with the natural colored stuff yet, but I really wanted to try mixing up different colors and see what they look like when plied together. It was just a little sample pack, it wasn’t expensive. I also ordered a beginners spinning book on half.com. I am on the edge of my seat for both to arrive. I am a sucker and a weak, weak person for wanting to pick up yet another addiction. When I get the hang of spinning I will share the wealth, promise. I need help.

Dorothy said...

So funny. That's what a "Renaissance Faire" would be like up here too.

Jodi said...

Wow... that sounds like quite the event.

Despite never attending any renaissance fairs, my husband loves to call things "Ye Olde X," especially "Ye Olde Compact Diskery." Maybe it's a Simpsons thing?

I studied Old English for a while a couple years ago, and he was sorely disappointed that it was not in fact "Olde English."